Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

Top Social Media Resources: MarketingProfs Summer Series

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Many of you who know me and know my story have heard that I’ve been exploring and engaging in social media for just over a year now after entering as a skeptic.  It was around that time that I became intrigued and then submerged myself in learning about how social media could help me to make my dream of helping wineries and small businesses become a reality.  Originally, I thought that traditional public relations and marketing services would be my core offerings.  But now, my business has evolved.  I find that I’m being sought out to help my clients with humanizing their brands and social media mentoring. And my dreams of a successful, fun business have been coming true.

I don’t call myself a social media expert, but mentoring based on my observations, studies and experience is a more accurate description of what I’ve been tasked with by my clients.  This is the first of a series of my top resources to pay attention to as you explore the possibilities in social media for your business or personal brand.

MarketingProfs Social Media Summer Series

This is a stellar line-up of thought leaders in social media.  The series is in progress, but if you purchase a Premium Plus membership, you gain access to all of the archived webinars with materials to play on demand.  I’ve viewed two of the series of nine so far and they are full of the latest research and information on relationship building, creating content, measurement, creating community, using social media for B-to-B marketing, public relations and to drive sales.  I’ve been a MarketingProfs Premium Plus member for several months now and I highly recommend their program to you.

The tactic that has been most helpful to me in navigating and embracing social media is reading about it regularly, attending webinars such as this series and keeping an eye on what’s happening with thought leaders who have successfully built their personal brands as trusted experts in their industries.  Much of the latest I’ve found by following thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook!

Are you already attending the series?  What are your impressions?  A recommended next step is to seek out your favorite presenters in this series on Twitter, Facebook and/or their blogs and watch for their updates.

Gary Vaynerchuk on Telling Your Own Story

I strongly agree with Gary on the changing PR landscape.  I embrace my role as an adviser  to my clients, not a canned pitch writer. I highly recommend that you interface with journalists and bloggers in the places where they prefer to meet and get to know you, nowadays that is via social media more times than not.  As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to humanize your communications with media, bloggers and industry influencers.  Provide resources, jump in and help your contacts from time to time.  Get to know them way before you need them to help you tell your story.  Become the face behind your brand.

Winery Marketing: Getting to Know You Via Social Media

The back of my business card

The back of my business card

Looking back on 2008, one of the best decisions I’ve made in regards to starting Melissa Dobson PR & Marketing, was to jump in and engage in social media. Initially skeptical, it didn’t take long for me to realize just how powerful some of the platforms can be for establishing a brand presence. Although informal and personal in nature, there are a few key things to keep in mind before engaging.

Contribute to the discussion by providing resources or links to relevant articles

Think of your target audience and what their needs are. The key here is to contribute and add value to the conversation, don’t simply tout your business or blog. You will establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry and establish trust and credibility. A book I read earlier this year and highly recommend that ingrained this approach in me is Michael Port’s “Book Yourself Solid.” Although written as a small business marketing system, some of the basic tenets of the book ring true in many situations. Michael recommends that you focus on giving first and building relationships long before you have a proposition.

Be mindful of keeping a balance between personal and business posts

The strength of social media platforms is in the human factor. Yes, we’ll want to hear about your latest business ventures and offerings, but we won’t care until we get to know you. Be yourself, talk about what’s on your mind, post pictures and videos that show your outside interests. In doing so, you’ll attract social media friends and possibly business from like-minded people who connect with you. And as Adam Urbanski teaches in his social media seminars for entrepreneurs, the key to success is to build relationships, educate and entertain. He also recommends that you create your own personality or flavor and connect. People engage with people that they know, like and trust. The way to establish yourself on networks like Twitter and Facebook is to share some of yourself and keep the business-oriented posts to a small ratio of your overall updates. This may seem counterproductive, but in my experience, it isn’t. I’ve seen well-intentioned people turn their followers off by only showing their business faces.  If you’re uncomfortable with this approach, search for some of the people in your industry or a related industry that you admire and respect.  Take a look at their social media interactions.  Use your best judgment and carefully consider what you post because with each update, you’re establishing a brand identity.

Don’t forget to have fun

Social media is a fun way to engage with your friends, prospects and colleagues.  For those of us who work from a home office, it creates a virtual community to tap into for ideas and feedback and is a great way to keep on top of the latest news in your industry and showcase your abilities.